Aronson Cello Festival

Aronson at Piano.JPG



Aronson Cello


june 2018

Welcome to the sixth festival honoring Lev Aronson.


I want to thank our hosts at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) for their continuing support. I also want to thank all of the artists, teachers, students, staff and most of all the generous patrons who have made the festival possible—from June 24th through July 1st at SMU.

Lev Aronson called Dallas his home after World War II. For those of us lucky to have known him personally, Lev Aronson was more than a teacher. He became our father in music. His prodigious intellect and his boundless heart transformed many of us into better versions of ourselves—and not just in music.

This year we honor his legacy by bringing our audience wonderful artists and teachers, talented students, and an award winning documentary film maker from Los Angeles.  The stories in his films will make you cry, laugh, reflect, and consider the possibilities about our own world in turmoil.

When I was a student of Mr. Aronson, I learned his philosophy of the cello centered upon the vocal qualities of the instrument. He was an artist who knew how to reach inside a person and gaze into the soul. Like many of his other students, I'm conscious of carrying on his legacy, carrying it with me every day, in my mind and in my heart.

This year's festival is dedicated to women in classical music. The women participating in this year's festival are truly remarkable, including the first woman to graduate from the conducting program at Juilliard and the first to be appointed as conductor of a major symphony orchestra, as well as one of the leading conservatory teachers in the country.

I believe that Lev Aronson would approve as we navigate the positive momentum of this moment in our social and cultural history. Music is transformative and powerful. Without borders, it holds and uplifts our hearts.

Thank you for your support.

Brian Thornton Founding | Artistic Director The Aronson Cello Festival March 2018


What is undoubted is that in America, [Lev Aronson] became a legendary teacher.
— Richard Sennett, The Wall Street Journal (August 13, 2009) Reviewing “The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson” (Atlas & Co.) by Frances Brent
A profound story—through war and peace—of survival, humanity and the enduring power of music.
— Ty Kim, Los Angeles Emmy Award winning story teller “Tell Me A Story About Lev Aronson” A series of short films



Kol Nidrei opus 47 by Max Bruch


Music Honoring

Lev Aronson

The Lev Aronson Memorial Concert 2009 - Prayer

Hassidic Dance

The Lev Aronson Memorial Concert 2009 - OPUS 38

Mi Pnei Ma (Why?) 


Festival participants please register for the Aronson Cello Festival here: